Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Voice of the Holy Spirit Is the Call to Atonement

“The Holy Spirit is the Christ Mind which is aware of the knowledge that lies beyond perception. He came into being with the separation as a protection, inspiring the Atonement principle at the same time. Before that there was no need for healing, for no one was comfortless. The Voice of the Holy Spirit is the Call to Atonement, or the restoration of the integrity of the mind. When the Atonement is complete and the whole Sonship is healed there will be no Call to return. (T-5.I.5)”

The Atonement is here seen as the restoration of the integrity of the mind. Our minds have lost their intent at the moment of our creation, having fallen (in illusion) into separation from God. This quotation emphasizes that God created the Holy Spirit to bring us back home. The Holy Spirit, being part of the Trinity, is of God as well as of His Son, the Christ Mind. Atonement, carried out in part by the Holy Spirit, will return us to our right minds.

We need a return to right thinking very badly. We need to realize that we are not, in the egoic frame of mind, thinking clearly at all. We are befuddled, and our confused thinking makes chaos in the world that surrounds us. This chaos needs to end.

When the Atonement is complete, when all minds everywhere have been returned to God and separation has ended, the purpose of the Holy Spirit will have been served. Our minds will once again have integrity, creating as co-creators with God—our real purpose.

No longer will we be lost in a miserable world. We will have returned to our Maker, separation having been healed, dreams and illusions having disappeared into the mists that made them.

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Dealing with Our Resistance, by Ivor Sowton

First of all, I want to thank Celia Hales so much for her wonderful post of 11/16/14, entitled “Self-Doubt Is the Only Thing that Will Not Sustain Christ-consciousness.”. If you haven’t seen it yet, please check it out on her blog, Miracles Each Day. She works with a key quote from Jesus in A Course of Love’s Treatise on the New, on trusting the way of the New that Jesus offers us. We deliberately turn our backs on the self-doubt that would have us choose instead the old, the ego thought system we have employed in the past.

I know what she is speaking of is true; I do trust Jesus on this. And you the reader may well want to go to her post and stop reading this one! That’s fine and may be just right for you!

This post is on our resistance to this wonderful spiritual path. It is unlikely to be a popular topic, but I put it forth because I find it is quite relevant for myself and, I think, for many of us.

You know the times when you wake up sad and low and may want to feel the Peace of God for sure, but do not seem to be able to access it at all? What to do at such times? Or when you have been studying these teachings diligently and have really been feeling more peace and joy and then WHAM–something really bad or frightening comes up big time. What do you do then? Or when you, after having really made the spiritual effort for some time, now feel the onset of the doldrums, like an old sailing ship suddenly dead in the water because the wind has totally died down. What do you do then? Or you have been making slow but steady progress, and all of a sudden a big compulsion comes up really strong. What do you do then?

So we’re speaking of resistance to our path, and how to deal with it. Celia’s keynote quote from Jesus is this one, from ACOL, Treatise on the New, 12.19: “But I ask you to try to remember to turn to the new rather than the old each time you think you are experiencing uncertainty or lack.”

A good place to start in dealing with our resistance, then, is to try to interface with our teachings for timely and relevant help in our current perceived distress. Our teachings are literally offering us a new way to deal with past patterns of inertia–our resistance.

Jesus, in both A Course of Love and A Course in Miracles, often recommends an unguarded sharing of our troubles with him, just as they come up. Try to go to an image of Jesus or Mary or whoever in your heart and ask for help right now. Not in a melodramatic way or a demanding way, but instead just assuming that he or she or it does really mean it when they assure us of their eternal love for us. We might start by praying: “Dear____, I know that you are here with me. Guide Thou my thoughts and feelings now as I negotiate this.”

ACIM teacher Jacob Glass is very helpful for me in my times of travail, because he seems to normalize feelings of distress and inadequacy as they come up in our spiritual lives.

Jacob encourages us to just try and be steady, meeting our commitments, rain or shine. Our society demands steadiness, showing up for work however we might be feeling emotionally, parenting the kids evenly, even when we’re under the weather. There’s a real sustaining wisdom in this, I think. Go for the B+ day every day. A+ days will happen, but we’re setting ourselves up for failure if we demand this of ourselves every day. It’s like the Zen Buddhist credo: “Just sit zazen (Zen meditation). Good day, just sit zazen. Bad day, just sit zazen.” Thus we maintain our steady forward momentum, not always romantically rosy, but long-term solid and dependable. It’s choosing the New, just as Jesus is saying here, by not over-reacting to the seemingly negative whatever of the present. Just trying to trust God and keep on keeping on.

The ACIM/ACOL community recently physically lost a real luminary in Ken Wapnik, PhD, who was the close confidant of Helen Schucman, PhD, scribe of A Course in Miracles. Ken has been an amazingly dynamic teacher of this path ever since then until his transition at Christmas time last year. Luckily his tremendous wisdom lives on in a large body of publications and recordings, and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) that he and his wife Gloria set up remains strong and vibrant (check it out online). Ken often said that psychology can really help us by instilling a healthy respect for the devious craftiness of our egos! He asks us to be really honest in asking ourselves– do we REALLY want to be done with separative ego consciousness forever? Or were we actually angling for better “position” as a more sophisticated, spiritual, “superior” ego? Touche!

Ken counseled a lot of self-forgiveness as we come to discover just how into self-sabotaging our egos can be!

It’s like we are cruising along fair to middling and then we suddenly and apparently deliberately “shoot ourselves in the foot”, saying or doing something outlandish that can really upset us and those around us! Why on earth would we do such a thing!? Simply because the ego needs suffering to maintain separateness–that’s why! Eckhart Tolle calls this our “pain body,” and we all have one, or we wouldn’t be here!

Jesus in ACOL states that our misguided choice for suffering is what went wrong with our experiment in physicality. In and of itself, to choose a physical self as an expression of our Divine Self “would be perfectly within the Laws of God, or Love”. But we got scared, it seems, and made up a lot of “laws of man” or “laws of survival” in our attempt to maintain an adolescent kind of individuality, which we thought we wanted. Now, though, as the prodigal sons and daughters returning to our eternal Home, we can start to let all those lesser laws go in favor of God’s, which alone can offer all the peace and joy that we really want.
So we needn’t be surprised when our ego acts up. We might even think of it as a little child, in need of our reassurance that everything will be all right.
Resistance, then, is actually part of our path. Part of our letting go. Part of our deliberately turning to the New.

“This is not such a frightening task. Let fear go and walk with me now.” (Jesus speaking to you and me personally in the Second Treatise of ACOL, 13.6)

A Miracle is the Expression of Atonement

“I have emphasized that the miracle, or the expression of Atonement, is always a sign of respect from the worthy to the worthy. The recognition of this worth is re-established by the Atonement. It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you need Atonement. You have done something loveless, having chosen without love. This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered. (T-2.VI.8)”

Miracles are expressions of Atonement between worthy people. You, to whom I offer a miracle that Jesus prompts, are just as worthy as you, who receives that miracle. Each and every one of us are worthy, with recognition of our worthiness being re-established by the Atonement. God grants our worthiness to us; elsewhere we learn that nothing that we do or think or make establishes our worthiness. We are children of God, and that is why the miracle heals us, the miracle as an expression of Atonement, and a reaching out from the worthy to the worthy.

What but a divine Source could have developed such a fabulous instrument of healing? When we are afraid, we have done something loveless, having chosen without love? And so we need to recognize that the Atonement has been created for us in just that situation. The ego, as a faulty part of our view of ourselves, always makes us afraid. The ego, being empty of love for us, its host, always prompts us to say and to do loveless things. When we are free of the ego, even for a moment, we will be freed to accept the solution of the Atonement to get us out of this fearful state.

Jesus won’t come between our thinking, even our faulty thinking, and its results. He will help, though, in the conditions that brought the fear about. And saying and doing loveless things are instances of what brings about fear. Do we not have powerful incentives to ask to do and say the loving thing always? Even in the fact of provocation?

So see miracles as expressions of Atonement, for miracles thus become another example of the definition of Atonement. And miracles are at the center of the message of forgiveness which A Course in Miracles brings to us.

Perfect Love Is the Atonement

“Know first that this is fear.
Fear arises from lack of love.
The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
Perfect love is the Atonement. (T-2.VI.7)”

This logical phrasing, a syllogism, is characteristic of Jesus.

We first must come to understand that we are motivated by our desire to release fear. And when we learn that fear arises from a lack of love, we are motivated to increase the love in our lives.

How do we do that? We want to. It is that simple. Then we take steps to remove the barriers to love that we find on a constant basis—retaliation from attack, outright attack, resentment, anger. When we want the perfect love that will remedy all these ills, we are primed for reaching out to the Atonement.

The Atonement is the perfect lesson in which love is demonstrated.

It is the undoing of what never actually happened, but it is an experience of which all of us partake. We do not offer defense when confronted with attack. We allow ourselves to be totally defenseless. This will not, as we fear, mean that other people will necessarily walk all over us. Instead, we become stronger, and our strength of will sets up an invisible shield that protects from attack.

Of course, we are not meant to be self-sacrificing to the extent that we countenance violence against ourselves. But we can remove ourselves from the encounter. This is most effective when we really do “want” to stay because we are bent on retaliation.

“Perfect love is the Atonement.” Of course! This is what Jesus came to do, years ago. And we will see, as we proceed, that this Atonement, and Jesus’s place in it, was established by the resurrection, symbol of eternal love, not the crucifixion (which all of us have, at one point or another, been led to believe).

ATONEMENT IN A COURSE IN MIRACLES: Definition, Purpose, Acceptance

Introduction

Chapter 1: How A Course in Miracles Defines Atonement

Chapter 2: The Purpose of Atonement

Chapter 3: Accepting Atonement for One’s Self

Chapter 4: Atonement and Healing

Chapter 5: Jesus’s Role in Atonement

Looking Ahead

—–

INTRODUCTION

One of the most frequently read posts on my blog is the one on the meaning of the Atonement. Given that interest, I thought it helpful to my readers to make a study of the Atonement, as presented in A Course in Miracles, and post that study on the web.

I used my kindle (an amazon product) to search A Course in Miracles in its entirety on the word “atonement.” There were 266 instances of the word (or some variant of it, such as “atoning”). I studied these 266 and selected those that I felt to be most illustrative of the meaning of atonement, without choosing those that were repetitive. This gave me a total of 64 quotations from which this series of postings has been derived.

The format is akin to my usual blog. I reproduce the quotations in various categories, and then write meditations based on these quotations.

We begin with the definition of Atonement.

—–

CHAPTER 1: HOW A COURSE IN MIRACLES DEFINES ATONEMENT

Atoning Means Undoing

“’Atoning’ means ‘undoing.’ The undoing of fear is an essential part of the Atonement value of miracles. (T-1.I.26)

So we need to keep in mind, whenever the concept of Atonement seems difficult for us to wrap about minds around, that Atoning means “undoing.”

We are seeking to undo so much in the course of studying A Course in Miracles. The primary undoing that we seek is the undoing of the ego, that part of ourselves that about which we believe and that part of ourselves which has led us into imprisoned wills, wills that could not protect us from pain. The goal of ACIM is to dislodge the ego, and the way that ACIM does this is through forgiveness—forgiveness of our brother, and in forgiving our brother, we come to know that we are also forgiven ourselves. We learn that God does not forgive, because He has never condemned. Can any of us say the same? No, for our entry into the darkness of the ego has been deep and long, and we have wandered far from God’s pathway back to Him.

So Atoning does mean that we are undoing what has led us into illusions, into dreams. We are seeking our rightful place in the Kingdom of Heaven, a Kingdom that we never really left—but think that we did. And in the undoing of what never was, we are home at last.

What Will the Future Hold?

“What will the future hold? . . .Because it is the new future of a new form joined in unity and relationship, the only guarantees that are known to us is that it will be a future of love, a future without fear, a future with unlimited freedom. For what more could we ask? And what more could be asked of us? (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.35)”

1 – Dialogues

This is a great sendoff to the third and final part of A Course of Love. The next part is the Dialogues. I have covered part of these in the 40 days and 40 nights section—see table of contents, above, and then refer to archives.

2 – Hope

In this paragraph, we easily see that there is much hope for the future, much hope and much happiness ahead.

3 – Everything

“Make no mistake that what is asked of us is everything. What is asked is our total willingness to abandon the old, our total willingness to embrace the new. But also make no mistake that what is given to us is everything. All the power of creation is released unto us. Let us begin. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.36)”

4 – Conclusion

This is given by Jesus at the conclusion of “A Treatise on the New.” We are ready to move into the Dialogues, which are meant to be a sustained conversation with Jesus in which we are seen as equals. Unlike ACIM, he does not describe himself as our elder brother. He does not describe himself as our teacher. He is our companion on our life’s journey, and he remains there for us always.

5 – ACIM

In ACIM, we are bade to imagine that he takes our hand as we walk along, and we are told that this will be no “idle fantasy.” May we believe this promise today. We are not alone. Not only is Jesus with us (which may take a suspension of disbelief), but also mighty companions whom we don’t know on this plane (an ACIM tenet). If we knew what is available to us by way of help, we would never fear again.

6 – Give Up Fear

May we never fear again, beginning today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I feel excited about the “new” that Jesus has promised, and for which he has prepared me. May this upcoming year be a good one, and may I know that You are there for me always.

Thank you for the “Treatise on the New.” And thanks to Mari Perron for channeling this writing. May we share with our brothers and sisters, as they are ready to accept.

Amen.

The Living of Christ-consciousness in Physical Form

“This is akin to being stranded in a foreign land with none of the ways you learned how to adapt in the past being of service to you. That is how new this is, and more. But the difference is that you are not alone and that you are not in a foreign land but returned to your home of origin. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.26)”

1 – New Era

We, here in the New, are living in a new era. It is not enough simply to think of it as the era of Christ, because all too often we think of this as an era for Jesus, as he was 2,000 years ago. He has never said anything like that in A Course of Love. He stresses that you and I are in a dialogue with him in which we are learning in new ways, but, mostly importantly of all, we know that we are learning in the best way because we are sharing with him and with our brothers and sisters.

2 – Design

“There was an overall design that ensured optimal learning and that design was known to you in the pattern of that design, a pattern that was part of the pattern of your thoughts, even after the ego came to rule your thought system. Without this pattern, the ego could have succeeded in becoming the ruler of the personal self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.27)”

3 – God

This quotation indicates that God Himself had a pattern for us from which we did not depart in the eons that the ego ruled. This is what is meant by the term “design.” The ego, however, was never the ruler of the personal self, because the design was not compromised. We did what we did only in illusion. God was not mocked.

4 – Christ-consciousness

“What will help you to remain doubt-free and thus fear-free and continually able to sustain Christ-consciousness, is coming to know the new design, and the new patterns that reveal the design. This new design and the new patterns. . . [will] be communicated through our continuing dialogues with one another. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.30)

5 – Jesus

Jesus wants to have a continuing dialogue, and part of that dialogue becomes the final part of A Course of Love, 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain top with him. This section of ACOL is masterfully written to channel us toward Christ-consciousness on a sustained basis. Jesus says therein that he has no intention for us to go to the mountain top repeatedly; we can do so, but that is second best.

6 – No Idle Fantasy

We might believe that Jesus himself, who says that he is holding our hand (something that is “no idle fantasy,” according to A Course of Miracles), can dialogue with us in unique fashion to our individual needs. He does not spell out this scenario, but he hints at such a possibility, and well we might want him to react to us in ways that no proof on earth could explain. In this quotation he talks about our continuing dialogues, and it is hard to speculate what he means unless it is a personal dialogue with each of us. This new design and the new patterns are not fully explained in the final part of ACOL, and so it is not out of the realm of possibility that Jesus is here with us, supernaturally, making a real difference in our lives.

7 – Comfort

Even if we can’t come to believe this, we can recognize that to entertain such a possibility is comforting in the extreme.

8 – Teacher No Longer

“I do not have the answers that would continue to make of me a teacher and you a student. The answers to the elevation of the personal self and the living of Christ-consciousness in form are yet to be revealed and shared. This is the time that is before us. . . . (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.32)”

9 – Resignation

This is the point in which Jesus makes clear that he is not going to be our teacher any longer. A little farther over in A Course of Love, and he “resigns” as our teacher. We are to see him as an equal in our future lives. Our personal self, if all goes well, will be sustained as the Self that is one with God. Our communication with God, which has been disrupted, will be reestablished, and we will commune easily and well. The Holy Spirit’s era is over; this is really what is pointed out in the passing of His era.

10 – Egocentric?

The time before us is hallowed ground. We don’t have to worry that to think such is egocentric. If we have come this far, we know that we don’t react as we once did to egocentric notions. Now we are heading into the future, with Jesus by our side (though no longer our teacher). The future looks bright. Sustaining Christ-consciousness is the goal that Jesus holds out to us. May we see glimpses more and more, and then may the sustainability be assured.

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for a sustained awareness of Your love, and I can have that sustained awareness in its fullness only when I have reached and sustained Christ-consciousness. Guide me day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute, as I seek to give up the old ways and come into the New.

May this day go smoothly. May it be like a worthy pearl on a string of pearls that will never break, one day following another into greater and greater value to You. I long to be of use to You. Help me to do that without dipping into the old ways of egoic thought.

May I find the brothers and sisters with whom I can interact the best. May we share our love in a wholly good way, and in the sharing may we come to know You as well as ourselves better.

Thank You for Your blessings.

Amen.